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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  June 19, 2011 1:40pm-2:00pm EDT

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truth about lying in international politics" and a professor here at the university of chicago. thank you for being with us. >> guest: my pleasure. >> is there a nonfiction of for but you would like to see featured on book tv? send a sent e-mail at book tv at or tweet as. >> well, this is book tv at c-span2 at the university of chicago joined by professor mark bradley his most recent book is "vietnam at war." what are you looking at in this book? >> the idea of the book was to think about the war from of vietnamese perspective as to think about it in a kind of long historical. so for americans the vietnam war is the american war.
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late 1950's, 1975. for most vietnamese the war began at the latest in 1946. many would argue at the beginning of the century of the french first came to take control of vietnam. try to think back as early as the 1890's in the coming of french rule and to talk about anti colonialism, the french war, the american war and to talk of the war for memory of vietnam since the war is over. >> host: have the vietnamese perspective been lost from time? >> guest: not in vietnam. other places in the world. the american war in vietnam is the most talked-about topic. there are thousands of books and articles. and that is just the world. if you think of, and television and radio. it is the kind of topic where americans can really turn around
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the doing some about the war. that literature is largely about the nature of the market involvement. very little attention, and faster on to the kind of realities of the vietnamese, whether it is high policy or whether it is to lure experience in the war often at the doorstep. surprisingly even after 30 years the attention on the vietnamese themselves is relatively sparse. >> host: what to do light? >> guest: well, for me, as a historian it was the more reason material that was most surprising to me and the way in which the war has been front and center in vietnam since 1975. the vietnamese moved from high socialism to a kind of form of market capitalism, allah not unlike what will go on in china for people who have a sense. but it keeps coming back, and it
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comes back in two major ways. one is a must intellectuals who used the war as a way of critiquing the party. the war was a good thing, but the way in much the party ran the war was not necessarily a good thing which was completely different than the propaganda that caught on. the soul series, it began selling them in no way the promises of the war were both independents and socialism at the socialist problem had gone unfulfilled. more recently it is the explosion of religion in vietnam. during the war itself at least in northern vietnam the state's downplayed religion, discouraged people from more traditional religious practices. today religion is all over the place. you know got to give you a little bit of a sense, i first went to vietnam in 1989. the first time that question to
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get back again. and there is a huge french built catholic cathedral. beautiful cathedral. and i went to mass one morning. i'm not catholic, but i was curious to goes. nobody is cecil went. very, very sparse. i was not annoyed in march. latin masses. i was at one. and then catholicism. only 10 percent catholic. most of buddhist. this is a ploy to up proliferation. and then a lineage, family lineage and worshiping family lineage was an important part of the tradition. this is it. and the war, family altars. if you live after the war and you have a relative, maybe a son who had fought for the national liberation front, south vietnam,
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maybe even of vietnam, you could not honor the relative who had fought from the south. the south was defeated. they had to pretend that south had not been there. in the last ten years people love felt comfortable again about displaying photographs of son sen were lost, the losing side. one can propitiate the graves to remember them. so it is really a profound every day wave. a huge transformation that is all about working out. >> host: are there still a lot of former vietnamese soldiers living in the country? have they been rehabilitated? of their allowed full access to site? >> guest: that is a complicated question. i mean, lot of high-ranking enemy soldiers and government
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officials left vietnam. dramatically right as the war was coming to an end. a big exodus. many of them to the united states, but others said italian, france, canada. a kind of local this bora of former south vietnamese officials who were living with families. not everyone could leave, and particularly people who were more ordinary soldiers. there were reeducation camps. the state organized them. there were not fun. the conditions were very, very difficult. the idea was that somehow you would send people to camps and they would come back believers in communism. but the conditions and the length of time was really terrific in many cases. people did begin.
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changing the playing field in many ways. people need money. the largest source of investment in vietnam is the overseas vietnamese community. billions and billions of dollars being sent back into vietnam. so those families now have a standing within the social economy that there would not have had in an earlier on to time he. if they want their kids to go to college. if they want to be involved in government politics. history of people's involvement does our people in that kind of way. the economy and changes in the economy helps level the playing field in a way that ten, 15 years ago would have been hard. >> host: how would you describe vietnam's current relationship?
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want to press the fact that i remember visiting a couple years ago the american war of aggression. watching the propaganda, they played in the tunnels prior to. >> guest: well, the war atrocities museum is an interesting case. spring in vietnam meeting with friends of mine. the president of the university section and also sits on the city council. he was telling me that the city has decided that more -- no longer serves a useful purpose. this was the way he did it. he was delicate, but it was partly not effective for tourists. if you have been there you can get a sense about why that might be so. but it was an effective for vietnamese schoolchildren. and yet he said, we have no re
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to replace it. we don't exactly know what sort of stories we think might be best to tell. there was something in what he was saying that was about a relationship back to america. in the museum. it's very frightening what you see. you see agent orange. you don't see much contextualized around it, but you see, again, what would be the most realistic and since. >> host: relatively good, as seems to me. >> guest: with the vietnamese did it is concessions. hillary clinton was there last summer reminding the vietnamese about our commitment to human rights and questions their commitment. not unexpectedly. very quickly. largely concerns about ironically religion. given the fact that religion is nourishing in certain ways, there is something of a
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mismatch. it concerns particularly the protestant parents don't go group and the center of vietnam, the areas where peoples were doing the work more can closely with the cia, a scenario that the regime still believes. so those are still there. the thing i'm most concerned about is china. and that relationship has ebbed and flowed over time. right after the war was done the chinese invaded. this was over the vietnamese invasion of cambodia. that relationship, again, stronger than it was. the united states for them is partially a round economic matters, but it is also around some sort of a check on potential chinese in dress and overlaying power, not just this. >> host: what is the status of such a man in vietnam? >> guest: remains revered.
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it is interesting, but that is so. whenever the people's feelings about the regime, our people have become more critical. in part i think it is because people employee his memory in making a variety of claims. there were all of these celebrated kids. very discontented with the agricultural policies. they framed their demands and claims in his name. there are shrines. those shrines in rural areas that people use as waste, not just generating him but their own sensibility about what he represents. he has become disconnected in some ways. i mean one of the first places
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you go, it was created for him after he died. he is embalmed and under glass. you can go through and take a look get him. turns out. >> host: equals specifically said he wants to be cremated and wanted his ashes is treated to the four reasons. he did not want this elaborate celebration. at that point that is when they thought it was needed. that happened in 1989. so from that time on their was this sort of this connection for people between he and what the government said his memory was about. but if you read the book, no one goes after him. there has not been a turn. he always represents the good somehow in this long history of war and revolution over the 20th-century. who knows. that may shift over time, but certainly not now. the only thing to be said is
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that no one calls hood seamen city hut's human city. so that effort to rename and use his memory. >> host: the photograph. >> guest: one of many american bombings. one of the strategies is that both americans and vietnamese, effort and particularly since the vietnam to clear wide swaths of area. the idea was that if you could clear him then at nasa -- liberation front soldiers would not be a will operate as easily. more easily identified, capture or kill to.
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other idea, once it was cleared no one is essentially could be in that region. anyone who was, the assumption was that there were guilty. that is where that image comes from. >> host: what do you teach? >> guest: in part about vietnam. 20th-century international history, particularly u.s. we come on like many universities don't have a core curriculum for undergraduates. is something that colombia and us help do. essentially two years of court courses. one of it is for undergraduates. this civilization sequence. a year of american civilization, european, latin america. essentially all of the civilization complexes are of the world. i teach in the sequence. we do it china. another japan.
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the third quarter we do, you know -- and not really about the war, but the larger history going back to the 2500 b.c. and taking things fall word. >> host: this is the book, "vietnam at war." the author is mark bradley of the university of chicago. >> you have been watching some of our interviews with professors here at the university. more next week. >> we asked what i you reading this summer. here is what you had to say. ♪ send us at tweet at book tv to
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let us know what you plan on reading. you can also e-mail us. >> now, women in hezbollah. that is one of the most interesting aspects of society. i would like to say that the woman of hezbollah are the cornerstone of the movement and our what has turned it into something that has such an enduring and resilience bedrock. each time there is a work. 1993 and '96. 2006. there are massive amounts of destruction. people's homes were destroyed every time. people's kids get killed. it happened once. anything can happen once. for people to be willing with good cheer and high energy
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technology again and again requires something, by end. the women in the household who were hard to reach and teach and to their view. these women become the bedrock of the ideas and of the willingness to fight for them. so i write about this in the book. these of this, for example, very different flavor or psychological profile. these people i met in lebanon. there were greeting their dead children. not a single one of them say am happy my child died. but he did say i'm proud and i would try another kid to do it. and they work with their
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surviving children to instill in them a sense of pride. it is the thing that makes hezbollah says a stable part of the movement. it is addressed to the beth -- breathtaking, the social network. when the yen in five dies and become some larger the party's sense psychologists and social workers around to work with them and make sure the deal with depression, make sure the kids are doing okay and adjusting. and for two reasons.
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one is because they care of them. the second is because they want people in this society of the islamic resistance to see that the families of the martyrs of wants to drive the most. so if you have a martyr in your family the foundation will make sure your kids go to the best schools come makers the would lead to remarry. usually to someone of high status, often another fighter. the result is that they build an elite, the core of this elite of the mothers and widows of these martyrs to sort of exemplify the most successful man of the station. people say, fine. this is the way to climb to the pinnacle of my society, by being willing to give my life this way. i am chosen to


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